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A year ago, Deloitte embarked on an ambitious programme to change the futures of one million people. One year on and the impact of One Million Futures is truly impressive. However, for Fiona Walker, Responsible Business lead Partner, it is the individual stories that are truly inspirational.

The results are in. In the last year our professionals have volunteered 31,000 hours of their time and provided £700,000 of pro bono services to the 54 schools, charities and social enterprises we have partnered with through One Million Futures. Already more than 138,000 'futures' have been directly impacted and, now we are helping these amazing organisations to develop and grow, we are on target to reach one million.

While these figures are incredibly impressive (and if you are one of our volunteers, thank you), what really stands out as we look back at the first year of One Million Futures are the individual stories of lives transformed by education or training opportunities.

Take the 200 people with learning difficulties and autism who have gained valuable work experience providing catering to Deloitte Northern Ireland (NI).

Through One Million Futures, the NI team were able to identify a potential opportunity to work more closely with Loaf café and bakery. An introduction to our procurement team resulted in Loaf achieving preferred supplier status, having met the necessary quality and service standards.

The social enterprise - which provides training, experience and a confidence boost to those who might otherwise struggle to find work - were then in a stronger position to have discussions with other Belfast businesses, which has led to them winning further contracts with leading firms across Northern Ireland.

Loaf has so far received over £12,500 of catering contracts from Deloitte alone.

“There’s nothing else like this out there,” is the comment from Maeve Monaghan, CEO of NOW Group which runs the social enterprise. “We’ve been absolutely treated like a Deloitte client.”

This hands-on approach is what makes One Million Futures so special.

Any large organisation can write out a cheque to a major charity. However, One Million Futures takes a more direct approach with Deloitte teams choosing local schools, charities and social enterprises to work with – so they can become involved in something that makes a difference closer to home. Rather than just supporting the work that these worthwhile organisations undertake, these local offices also help them with their business and development plans… enabling even more people to benefit.

At Deloitte we like solving problems. Whether it is audit, tax, consulting or financial advisory, this is what we do. So, our volunteer teams are bringing this approach to finding shelter for the homeless, using analytics to help Depaul UK (a youth focused homelessness charity and another of the 54 organisations we are working directly with) target its services where there is the greatest need.

Deloitte staff in London are also supporting the charity’s “Engage, Inspire, Connect” initiative. Through this initiative, which provides small grants, Depaul UK is able to help young homeless individuals to develop new skills and interests and to gain the confidence they need to secure employment. Once again, this is a fantastic initiative and one close to the Deloitte team’s hearts, which is why they give up so much of their time to provide support.

The best bit? Well giving back, gives back…. Staff involved in these projects all say that they love opportunities to give their time in this way. It crops up in job interviews and annual reviews, and is a reason why people join and stay with Deloitte.

So, if you want to gain as much as you give, check out the organisations we support on our website. The next year, is going to be full of exciting opportunities – for those we help and our staff.

 

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Fiona Walker, Partner, Deloitte

Fiona is a Partner in our Banking and Capital Markets practice and has over 19 years’ experience working in the Financial Services Industry.  In addition to her client portfolio Fiona is the lead Partner supporting our Responsible Business team to deliver One Million Futures.

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